Chia pudding would have to be one of my favourite breakfast recipes. In 5 minutes, you have yourself a thick and moreish pudding that you can adapt to whatever flavour you fancy. The idea for this chia pudding came to me after a trip to Cabramatta. Walking down John Street is a feast for the eyes, mainly because of the selection of tropical fruits. Walking through the arcades and into fruit shops, the selection of yum is enough to make you believe you’re actually in Vietnam. I don’t know about you, but where I live, finding tamarind pods, mangosteen, durian, jackfruit and rambutan is hard!
When I’m in Cabramatta I stock up, and for a week I’m in tropical fruit heaven. Tamarind pods are my favourite by far– I eat them like lollies. They remind me of dates because they’ve got the same sweet and chewy qualities, with a hint of sour thrown in for good measure. The whole experience of eating a tamarind pod is just fun. First you have to crack open the hard shell, pull off the stringy bits on the sides, bite into the flesh and spit out the seeds.
I’ve seen so many recipes and made my own versions of date caramel which is very delicious, but I wanted to create a fruitier version that isn’t sickly sweet, and was breakfast(brunchfast)-friendly. Hellooooooo tamarind! Its sour, tangy vibe doesn’t make you want to skull a bottle of water or quickly eat something savoury to balance out all the sweetness you’ve just eaten. In this recipe, I used a combination of tamarind and dates to get the perfect flavour, consistency and balance of sweet and sour. I also added kaffir lime juice to make this a real tropical treat, and lucky for me I don’t have to go all the way to Cabramatta for those– I’ve got a tree in my backyard!
Tamarind is a great source of Vitamin B1, also known at Thiamin. Thiamin is crucial for generating energy from carbohydrate intake and helps maintain healthy nervous tissue. While tamarind is the delicious part of this recipe, the chia seeds are the real nutritional winner. Chia is no new kid on the block anymore, but I feel like many people don’t fully know the full benefits of this powerful tiny, dried seed.
Chia is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids– essential for metabolism and healthy brain function. Chia also contains Omega-6 fatty acids, also essential but in lesser amounts. Omega-6 is widely available– you can find it in almost all grains, corn, rice, wheat etc and most of these things make up a large portion of many peoples diets. Omega-6 are said to be inflammatory, and inflammation is the first marker of disease. Omega-3 are anti-inflammatory, making it crucial that you consume these essential fatty acids in the right amounts. Lucky for us, chia seeds come packaged with the right ratios of Omega-3 and Omega-6. This good news coupled with the fact chia is so versatile makes it easy to get your omega-3:omega-6 intake in the ratio. Make a pudding, add them to smoothies, use them as a replacement for eggs, sprinkle them on salads, do whatever you have to do.
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (I use Pure Harvest 'Coco Quench')
- 1/4 cup coconut yoghurt or kefir
- 3 tamarind pods
- 2 medjool dates
- 1 kaffir lime
- 1 teaspoon shredded coconut
- In a bowl, combine the chia seeds and coconut milk and whisk with a fork to combine. The mixture will become gelatinous and thick and will set within 5 minutes.
- In your serving jar/glass, place a heaped spoonful of chia mixture in the bottom, then layer the coconut yoghurt and repeat.
- Try your best to extract the tamarind flesh from the pod– it can get a bit sticky and messy and remove the pits from the dates.
- Using a food processor, pulse the tamarind and dates until combined.
- Add about 1 tsp of kaffir lime zest, and then juice the entire lime into the food processor. Pulse again to combine.
- Top puddings with a big dollop of the tamarind caramel and serve with fruit of choice and shredded coconut.